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Old 06-03-2005, 06:38 AM   #1
bigjohn
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Angry Simple is efficient ???? Maybe/Maybe not !


mp3 applications/players and other things "music"!

So, I've got this mp3 player (Creative Zen "Touch") for my partners birthday. She would just like to take advantage of these more up to date methods of "managing" her music.

Fine, but whatever happened to the "Simple is efficient" thing?

I haven't got a windows install in this PC, so to get used to her device (I'm the one that has to rip/encode and download/install the "tracks" to the device) so I've had to install the Creative software to her laptop.

OK

Now I've also been recently ripping my own music tracks to my hard disc, and have a "nice" (??? debatable ) collection of the CDs that I like to listen to on my hard drive. Great.

But here comes the thing that I don't understand..............

Why doesn't there seem to be a simple, straight forward, "player" application, one that will just select say, Album/CD or track? Or _just_ the option of random play?

Because it doesn't seem to matter whether it's a windows or linux based app, They all seem to be overly and un-necessarily complicated.

Recently, I've had to try the "Rio Music Manager", Creatives "Media Source", Windows Media Player and Real Player under windows, and amarok, XMMS, plus some other bits that I can't recall under linux.

I don't know whos' leading who in these applications, but they seem to have "added functionality" because they can?

I mean, whatever happened to applications that just played like a CD player ?

Whats all this bollocks with "playlists" and shite like that?

Surely, if you have a CD, but don't like all the tracks, you'd only put the tracks that you do like on "the device"/disc/whatever. You aren't gonna waste storage on music that you'll never listen too?????

Or what kind of brain dead idiot would make a "playlist" of say, 20 tracks, just to listen to it over and over again????

Do you really _need_ to be able to make playlists that reflect your "moods"???? - Yeah, maybe if you run some sort of entertainment business that wants to try to reflect whats going on in your particular bit of society/area/etc etc (I dunno, maybe, say Christmas or some other sort of celebration/event come to mind).

It seems to me, that despite (according to much of the recent IT press) one of the current "buzzwords" being Usability, that manufacturers/developers just aren't getting the message!

Why are "they" so hung up on gimmicks?

I mean, OK, if something can so something in a certain way, fine, but what about some sort of basic "default" setting? on these types of devices and applications, then _IF_ you particularly want to use a certain facility, great, thats up to you. Or maybe, added functionality that you can get seperately, but so the rest of the "music listening world" can just get on and, well, listen? If you want extra "bells and whistles", it's you choice!

Right, I'm off to see if I can make Amarok play some bloody music (XMMS is a waste of time at the moment, as the default ripping format of "Sound Juicer" seems to be FLAC, which xmms doesn't seem to "like" out of the box!).

Ho Hum!

regards

a very annoyed/irritated

John!
 
Old 06-03-2005, 07:13 AM   #2
marghorp
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I see it this way. It's better to have options, then to not. If they are too complicated for you, don't use them. It's very easy to play music, without adding it to the playlist or so. Find the music on your harddisk and drag drop it on to the player. It's as simple as that. If you say now, that it's not simple enough, let me give you an example. If you want to play a CD you have to find it first, then take it out of the cover and put it into the player and press play. On your computer it's the same, find, drag, drop, play.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 05:02 AM   #3
bigjohn
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Well as I say, I sort of expect it to take time for me to learn new apps. Fine.

Though take amorak for example, it's my view, that many apps should be more intuitive, amorak included. I've worked out how to get individual tracks playing fine, but if I want to play more than one in a chain, I have to dig around the stuff I've got ripped, and then play them one after another.

I've yet too find a method of telling "it" where I store my music, and then just to random play or even be able to continuous play an entire "album" (the same applies to XMMS).

It's ok if you happen to be an enthusiast, you'd probably enjoy meddling with the app to find out how it all works, what it can do, etc etc. Thats not my position. I view it purely as a "user". I don't really care how it works. I just want it to work. Minimum of config, setup, selection, etc etc.

I'm not one who happens to use linux for it's technical ability (nice to have, of course), I'm here, because I have moral, social and ethical issues with Microsoft. Though it's fair to say, the applications (proprietary ones mainly), that I've had to try on my partners laptop, so as to be able to get some stuff to her mp3 player, haven't been much better.

Basically, I want "it" to do what the adverts are inferring "it" can do, and not to have to mess around every time I want to put some more or different tracks on the mp3 player or my hard drive.

It's a "sweeping generalisation", but thus far (3 years of using/learning linux stuff), it's been my experience that windows apps have greater "usability" than the majority of linux apps - It won't stop me trying to learn them though. My principles/stubbornness/attitude are entrenched enough, not to ever want to have to rely on anything associated with M$ again, but that won't stop me bitching about, what are IMO, shortcomings of linux and linux apps.

People in the linux world often seem to ask, why "we" want to "ape" windows? Well, I feel that it's just that windows based app developers have the financial muscle to identify some of the "things" that people have indicated that they'd like to be able to do with their computer (as well as come up with things that they hadn't even considered).

I feel that the linux world, then needs to take the function/app/whatever, and not only clone it, but make it demonstratably better i.e. to be able to say, "Oh no, we're NOT as good as you, WE'RE BETTER".

Stuff like the vastly more configurable desktops, that "we" have, are I think, an excellent example.

regards

John
 
Old 06-04-2005, 11:55 AM   #4
brainiac
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In Windows it doesn't seem to get any easier than Musicmatch Jukebox. You add the songs you want to your "library" and then double click to put them in your playlist etc. Random is available if that is what you like. I have been looking for the equivalent for "Linux" myself. Playing music in the background, is supposed to be a perk not a chore. Multimedia stuff for Linux is getting etter as time goes on and people figure out that the average home computer user wants a fast stable environment for their audio CD burning and things like that. K3B is the best for CD burning that I have found. And I have a full blown copy of Nero 6, and it falls in the overabundance of features category. A buddy of mine uses Suse and can flat out blow the doors off anything I have seen yet when it comes to burning a DVD movie. It takes a little time to shift from the world's best server mindset to getting the world's best home system off the ground and running for the masses, but it is well on it's way. Good luck in your search.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 01:27 PM   #5
phil.d.g
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what is so difficult about
Code:
mplayer ~/music/Meatloaf/Dead\ Ringer/*
to play an album?
 
Old 06-04-2005, 02:40 PM   #6
masonm
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hmmm xmms, play directory, select directory from list, play. doesn't seem too complicated to me.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 05:20 PM   #7
Mara
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Better in General.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 07:38 PM   #8
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally posted by masonm
hmmm xmms, play directory, select directory from list, play. doesn't seem too complicated to me.
Hum? maybe I just didn't spot that facility??? The only thing I've been sucessful with, when it comes to XMMS, is streaming audio. I found it excellent for that - no problems at all, but when I've tried "loading a playlist", I seem to just get a list of jumbled unreadable crap in the "playlist window".

I don't know, maybe it's just that I'm thinking in the wrong terms of what I'm expecting, though I don't see why is seems that I have to keep selecting individual songs every 3 or 4 minutes. That brings back memories from when I was a kid and life was a 7 inch single (vinyl) record.

phil.d.g.s' suggestion of mplayer??? Well, that may be valid, I can't say, I've not used mplayer. Though it highlights one thing, that choice, is no choice, if you don't know what those choices are in the first place!

It seems such a minefield. Media player??? Standalone music player???? or what, theres so many variables.

The one thing I do know, the bit about normal mp3s, say encoded at 128kbit are as they say, "lossy". Which is one reason that trying the "Sound juicer" facility, that installed by default, and offers the choice of "lossy" or CD quality (alledgedly) helps me. It's nice to be able to only have to make the base decision of good or not so. personally, lossy mp3 format, for my liking, is a step back.

I was never a big fan of CDs' despite the hype when they "came out". I've always prefered vinyl. Even with it's drawbacks (wears out, having to be vvv careful with it too prevent damage etc etc), when I've listened to vinyl and CD on "good quality" equipment, the vinyl sound seems to be more of a "bright and alive" sound, CD sounds (to me) crisp, clean, overly clinical.

Which is why I get rather pissed off with "digital players". If I "fire up" the player and dig out (literally ) a vinyl recording, I drop the stylus at the start and it plays. If i want to miss a track, I can move the stylus. The same with a CD, put it in, hit play and off it goes, if I want to miss one, theres the next button. Great.

I don't have to tell the machine where to find the track(s) etc. I don't have to "record" the whole album, and then piss around telling the machine that I want tracks 1 4579 or whatever, making some "playlist".

It still seems to be overly complicated - unnecessarily so.

The "media player" thing? well that just seems to magnify the problem. Sure, I can see the marketing nazis and developers POV, that, theoretically, they would have a greater convenience, because it shouldn't matter what format the "media" is i.e. music(audio), or music dvd with accompanying video, digital music/video or any variations of the above, but until someone comes up with some "proper" standards, that everyone can access, it's still IMO, gonna carry on as one huge format war remniscent of beta Vs VHS.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 07:53 PM   #9
ahh
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I dont know what version of xmms you use, but for the last few years all you have to do is:-

To play a single song: click on song in a file manager and select open with xmms, or maybe it will automatically.

To play a selection of songs: Click on playlist button, click on "file+", select file(s), play. You can save the selection as a playlist to play again later by clicking on the "load list" button, holding the button down, and releasing it on "save list", if required.

To play an album: Click on playlist button, click on "file+", hold the button down, move the mouse up to "dir+" and release it. You can now select a directory and all the contents will be added to the playlist window. play. Again you can save as a playlist if required.

To get more than 3 or 4 minutes worth of songs: Repeat above actions till you run out of songs to add.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 06-04-2005, 10:27 PM   #10
Mr. New
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I only got like 1 music file(why waste HD space?) I use itunes its good enough, but theres no linux port
 
Old 06-05-2005, 02:38 AM   #11
alred
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RE : Simple is efficient ???? Maybe/Maybe not !

yah yah yah ..... read like blogging

i was once suggested to do a man , but somehow man don't know how to scroll properly , they hate scrolling !!......i guess man was created with a 600Wx800H screen and man prefer jamming loosy bits into just one screen of expert content , guess by being not loosy they mean holding down and hitting at the sametime with a fake moustache on man's lip , they said too much mama's love but lacking papa's i need to ape papa's whip !!
hmm ... well , at least i'm not lacking of mama's , so i told them i don't know man , they suggested me to a doc !! oh_boy ..... guess you are right , it's something clinical .......

gotto love vinyls and that stylus when comes to something that sounds Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy ....

Last edited by alred; 06-05-2005 at 04:22 AM.
 
Old 06-05-2005, 07:00 PM   #12
Shade
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Alred, maybe it's the language barrier, but WTF are you going on about?

--Shade
 
Old 06-05-2005, 09:36 PM   #13
cs-cam
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Maybe try MPD + a client or Rhythmbox. Both will do exactly what you want without effort, Rhythmbox probably being a little friendlier about it.
 
Old 06-05-2005, 11:33 PM   #14
alred
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Quote:
Alred, maybe it's the language barrier, but WTF are you going on about?
go fishing .........
 
Old 06-06-2005, 02:04 AM   #15
scuzzman
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Tried amp bigjohn?
It's a very simple console mp3 player...
 
  


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